Voices from Russia

Saturday, 12 October 2013

12 October 2013. Here’s Another Reason Why the Republicants Shut Down the Government

00 One Percent. Affluent Effluent. Too Big to Fail. 14.09.13

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For-profit prison phone companies charge sky-high rates, making it expensive for families to stay connected. Such fly-by-nights charge prisoners up to 17 USD (550 Roubles. 17.50 CAD. 18 AUD. 12.50 Euros. 11 UK Pounds) for a 15-minute phone-call… a call that might cost 2 USD (65 Roubles. 2.07 CAD. 2.12 AUD. 1.50 Euros. 1.25 UK Pounds) outside of prison. One of these companies is Global Tel*Link; it’s one of the powerful corporations making billions of dollars by exploiting prisoners. In August, the FCC took an important first step by capping the price of prisoner phone-calls made from one state to another at 0.25 USD (8 Roubles. 0.26 CAD. 0.27 AUD. 0.20 Euros. 0.16 UK Pounds) per minute. However, most prisoners serve time in their home state.  The FCC should finish the job and end this predatory practise for all prison phone-calls.

Let’s not be coy… the Republican Party supports and upholds these corporate vipers. THIS is one reason why the GOP is against government regulation. You see, if the government regulates prisoner phone-call rates, why, the investors and owners wouldn’t have as much money! Their mortgages on their McMansions are due, they have wetback nannies and gardeners to pay, and the bill just came in for the country club… poor babies. The Republicans weep copious tears for them… and none for you. That is, the GOP supports Class Warfare of the most noxious sort, of the Haves against the Have-Nots. They’re backing the rich man… after all, that’s who’s bankrolling them and their pretensions in the District. They’re good little marionettes, aren’t they?

THIS is why the Republicans shut down the government. Mark it down well.

BMD 

12 October 2013. A View from the East… Fan Jianping. Gun Control USA. 2008

00 Fan Jianping. Gun Control in the USA. 2008

Gun Control USA

Fan Jianping

2008

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This cartoon may be five years old, but it’s lost none of its relevance. A society armed to the teeth isn’t a civil society… it’s a lawless bed of anarchy. That’s what the Republican Party wants… lawless and unbridled anarchy (they call it “Libertarianism” to hide its true evil nature)… so that its rich paymasters can fuck you any which way they please without any consequence whatsoever. That’s why they shut down the government

BMD

12 October 2013. All Quiet on the Syosset Front… For Now

00 Peace Dove. 12.10.13

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Lately, there’s been a dearth of “news stories” coming out of the OCA. Trust me, that’s a GOOD thing. It means that the shit isn’t hitting the fan and that people aren’t worried about their heads. I asked a friend at the Centre for their opinion, and they said:

His Holiness made it clear where he stood when he received the OCA delegation recently. You don’t have to agree or like someone or something in order to support them or it. Mollard’s bringing peace to the OCA and stopping the ferment. That covers all his sins.

I pressed them for clarification, and all that I got was, “I said what I said”. From the time of Herman Swaiko’s installation in 2002 to Jonas Paffhausen’s resignation in 2012, the OCA has been in constant turmoil. Mollard, at least, won’t roil the waters. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s going to be sweetness and light. Mind you, there’s NOT going to be scandal erupting around Mollard… remember, Herman got in the shit because he moved against Lyonyo’s party aggressively and JP got in trouble for his political shenanigans. Mollard’s not going to intrigue against anybody and he’s not going to embroil himself in politics.

However, there’s going to be a tussle over who’s going to be the Éminence grise wielding the power in Mollard’s name. At present, there’s a vacuum at the top, and such voids DO tend to be filled (and rather smartly at that). There are two contenders out there. It’s going to be a no-holds barred pankration between Lyonyo Kishkovsky and Michael Dahulich. At present, things are quiet, as these two worthies are gathering their supporters and feeling out the opposition (neither one is as stubborn as Herman was or as fecklessly stupid as JP was). Lyonyo’s gathering followers from First Family circles (he’s behind Dickie Wood’s appearance at Gan’s shindig, mark my word on that one), whilst Dahulich is putting together a claque based on SVS, his former students amongst the clergy, and the konvertsy. In cliché terms, “It’s the calm before the storm”. Yet, it won’t be as bad as the situations that revolved around Herman and Fatso. It’ll be a behind-the-scenes affair, with no input from Mollard, who’ll continue to smile away benignly at all concerned. It’ll be bloody, but it won’t be centre-stage, and most people, to speak frankly, will ignore it. I’ll hazard a guess. I think that Lyonyo’s gonna win in the end. Dahulich will undercut himself by his support of loony liturgical fiddling. People will go with the party that’ll keep “hands-off” their parish life and liturgy… Dahulich’s liturgical itch will do him in, when one totes it all up. Do bear in mind that Dahulich tried to seize the white hat by using the above coalition… it failed then; all things being equal, it’ll fail in future, too.

Nevertheless, none of the above will roil the surface. Most parishes will be left alone… which is what they want. Outward peace will reign, which means no “news”, and I think that a GOOD thing, as I said at the outset. The OCA will “rot in peace”; we simply have to show some patience… after all, they’re doing that at the Centre. They do take the LOOONG view there, kids…

BMD

 

12 October 2013. A Thought From HH…

00 A Thought from HH. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. 12.10.13

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The quotation from the Apostle is from the Second Epistle of St Paul to Timothy 4.2. The word translated as “ecumenical” is вселенском (vselenskom); another rendering of the same Russian original would be “universal”. Of course, I mean “ecumenical” in the sense of the “oikumene”, the “Whole Household of God”, that is, Orthodox Christianity. There’s NO “invisible church”, as the Proddies teach. Equally, there’s no papal dictatorship defined by submission and subservience to the Pope of Rome. There’s no “Branch Theory”; there’s no “Eastern Church”. We must recapture the term “ecumenical”… it doesn’t mean “interreligious”, indeed, it means the exact opposite! It refers to the “House”… and we do share much with the Oriental Orthodox, much that we don’t share with the heterodox. If we restore communion with anyone, it’ll be with our separated Oriental brethren, not with papists and Proddies (you’ve seen the snaps of HH and Catholicos Karekin embracing… ‘nuff said).

The Whole Household of Faith does mean something… it’s something well-worth restoring and maintaining. It’s why we need a united Russian Orthodox Church here in the American diaspora. If we can’t unite only one small family of the Household, we labour in vain over anything more extensive…

BMD 

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